Maria Schirmer is an interdisciplinary theatre artist and arts educator who recently completed her Master’s at New York University where she researched the intersection of performance and politics and how art can be used as a tool for social justice.
While at NYU, she was awarded a grant from the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs to explore Ableism as related to Multiple Sclerosis in a multi-media theatre piece, as well as a Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellowship, which culminated in an eight-week internship with the Jana Sanskriti Center for Theatre of the Oppressed in Kolkata, India. She also holds a BA in Theatre with a performance concentration from Marymount Manhattan Collage.
For nine years she was involved with the politically conscious theatre company Stone Soup, performing in seven shows, co-authoring two and managing educational programming. She is an alumnus of the EMERGENYC arts activism training at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and is a founding member of the EmergeLAB@BAX a partnership between the Hemispheric Institute, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and EMERGENYC alumni, culminating in a showcase of original performances.
She can currently be seen in the movement instillation ON DISPLAY with Heidi Latsky Dance, which has been performed at Lincoln Center, the High Line and the United Nations as part of their International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Maria is an Assistant Curator at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics as well as a theater and creative writing teaching artist serving New York City Public schools with little to no arts programing with organizations Opening Act and Community Word Project. She is a member of the Literary Wing at the Lark Play Development Center, as well as The Forum Project Performance Troupe, which brings theater of the oppressed performances and workshops to community centers and schools across NYC.
An avid traveler, Maria has backpacked in India and Mexico, crashed a gallery opening in London, gotten terribly lost on the Aran Islands, and has been offered a small part in a Bollywood film which she sadly had to decline.